Tuesday July 9 2013
Fiorentina super for Mario

Mario Gomez may have found the right footballing formula at Fiorentina to re-energise his career, writes Ross Dunbar.

Mario Gomez has brought an end to a goal-hungry Bundesliga career - spanning nine years with VfB Stuttgart and FC Bayern - by securing a ‘desired’ switch to Fiorentina this week.

Costing, in total, around €20m with a up-front fee of €15m from La Viola, Gomez is one of a kind in modern football - suffering the tribulations of his public perception in the German media. You would be forgiven for believing Gomez is everyone’s cup of tea in German football, yet, the prolific striker has been isolated by the rapidly-evolving playing style in the Bundesliga and international scene.

With 138 goals in 236 League games, Gomez is the 16th highest scorer in Bundesliga history and his 113 strikes in the red of FC Bayern levels him with Claudio Pizarro in the club’s all-time scoring charts. For the German national team, the former Stuttgart man has struck 25 goals in 58 games, averaging one every other game.

Far from a slight on his qualities, Gomez has been second-choice striker for Bayern in 2012-13 – a unique career situation for the 27-year-old frontman – with Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic having led the line and altered the dynamics of the side. Coach Jupp Heynckes sacrificed the guaranteed goals of Gomez for the overall contribution of Mandzukic.

Until Mario Gotze’s move to Munich, Gomez was the most expensive German footballer of all-time, costing €30m with a League championship under his wing during his time with the Swabians. The centre-forward was crucial in Bayern’s 2011-12 run to the UEFA Champions League Final and he became, arguably, the most valuable player in the side.

His 41 goals in 52 games that season, including 13 in 14 Champions League matches, took the club within inches of their third European Cup at the Allianz Arena. Gomez really couldn’t have helped more in their push for domestic and European success – a feat which would arrive only 12 months later.

The change to Mandzukic in the central-attacking role, though, left Gomez on the bench for the majority of the season, feeding off substitute opportunities and inconsistent selections in the Bundesliga, which has ultimately spelled the end of his time in Germany. As the national team was dumped out of Euro 2012, opening a wide-debate on the best front-line option in the DFB-elf, the role of Gomez was questioned by many, in the changing face of the side.

“I see things differently,” he told Stuttgarter Zeitung recently. “It is not true that Barcelona played without a centre-forward. Lionel Messi is a total centre-forward. Although, he does not have my stature but he is certainly not a false nine. He is a real No 9 and also still a playmaker.

“Messi scores goals without end. If someone shoots 60 or 70 goals a year, he is a killer. I think every team needs a killer, regardless of whether it is large or small, heavy or light.”

Still, Gomez has yet to be fully appreciated and his ilk looks to be dying out of the modern game. Enigmatic, it may seem, but for Fiorentina - a youthful, offensive-thinking side, the 27-year-old German might be the cherished final piece in the jigsaw.

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Have your say...
We may taste the smell of Scudetto after years.

I can say that Gomez can be another Luca Toni in the team. JoJo is not that kind of player. 40 goals a season for La Viola!
on the 28th July, 2013 at 8:09am
Jovetic out, Gomez in = a proven striker for potential plus cash. If they get Veratti as well they are going to be a really tough team this season.
on the 18th July, 2013 at 10:21pm
The turnover, which is done on the sport director or the manager him self was very positive Adem ljajic contrbuted the most because finally a manager that respect his abilities was around and a wonder kid like him is a mistake to be on the bench. Hopefully my fav team do it most to clinch the SERIA the coming season.
on the 14th July, 2013 at 8:19am
Fiorentina is already on a project of making a team and that project was led by Mr. Prandelli unfortently What happened then destroyed part of the Project, departure of Prandelli, selling and wasting young talent such as Pazzini, Osvaldo and many others after only spending only one season in the team, left me and other Arabic fans of Viola amazed, on Where the project is going and WHAT is really DE LA valle is capable of, but from last season and the turnover that happened.
on the 14th July, 2013 at 8:16am
Don"t forget, Iličić is realy looking forward to join Fiorentina. I"m following that man since he played in Slovenia, and I"m teling you- he knows, he would fit in to the team.
With his quality and wish to play for Fiorentina- he is number one buy.
on the 12th July, 2013 at 5:53am
Mario Gomez, Tevez, Llorente, Damiao? Verratti? and hopefully many more (don't forget last season's return of Balotelli and Giuseppe Rossi) - Big players! Serie A seems to be gradually becoming fashionable again. Hopefully this be the beginning of a new boom in Italian Club Football that has been missed on the European scene... Speriamo
on the 11th July, 2013 at 7:37am
This Fiorentina is taking an intriguing shape, Honestly im excited by the signings and if we judged the top four of last season with the current purchases i would say Fiorentina has tipped both Napoli and Milan in quality. Remains to be seen weather Fiorentina manage to keep Jojo and Ljajic for one more season, if they do they will most certainly push Juve for the scudetto and i see them lifting the Europa League title as well.
on the 10th July, 2013 at 9:05am
Forza Viola...bring on the scudetto race..only two more signings might remain,should Jojo or Ljajic move,Illicic and then Yann Sommer and we'd turn Italy favorite season is ahead of me cos this(Gomez)is the capocannoniere of 2013/14 season...tell them I told you
on the 10th July, 2013 at 12:34am
this is major singing by Fiorentina.. whit Gomez-Rossi-Gueadrado Fiorentina will chalenge Juventus for scudetto
on the 10th July, 2013 at 12:32am
A very astute signing! Last season, the Viola didn't really have a focal point to their attack. Toni was a sub, whilst Jovetic & Ljajic did their best work outside of the penalty area. Now they have someone to be on the end of all their superb approach play. His price was also excellent value.
on the 9th July, 2013 at 5:26pm
Also, this is a great move for Fiorentina. Anyone who thinks this guy is just a poacher just doesn't understand the game. The game is getting wrecked with all this false 9 garbage. That doesn't make the game more fluid. That just congests the field and leaves creative players with no outlets...and it makes those creative players redundant. Xavi is the most obvious example. False 9's and 4-2-3-1's is like football for dummies...and those dummies all think they know better than those who do know.
on the 9th July, 2013 at 5:10pm
Well, Gomez is beyond wrong about Messi. Messi is nowhere near a 9. He's, in fact, not even a false 9. A false 9 is RVP, Totti a little when he played there, Bergkamp a bit, Toastao, Rooney at times. Guys who play the SS role from a more advanced position. It's just a tactic. Messi plays closer to the Kaka position than he does to the striker position. His role is what I deem "The Messiah Role"...the team is not allowed to do anything without him, which is why they're not nearly as strong now.
on the 9th July, 2013 at 5:07pm
astori is horrible, no need to spend 10 mil on him. Milan's issues last season on the back end had a lot to do with a poor midfield that couldn't hold the ball. With De Jong back (look at the pics, he is in awesome shape) and new blood in the team we should be much better at the back. I would love Mangala, but he would cost a ton. Milan have a lot of hope in Vergara but he is really young..
on the 9th July, 2013 at 4:46pm
@ anthony preaching to the converted here re CB at Milan. Milan conceded 39 goals last season compared to Juve's 24. Mexes was a total liability collecting 17 yellow cards in 33 games. A CB gets a yellow card usually when he gets caught out of position. That's how many times Mexes got caught of position. Juve are not happy with their 24 goals conceded and have bought Ogbonna. Milan are seemingly delighted to keep Mexes (and Bonera). Now that we've missed Ogbonna please can we sign Astori?
on the 9th July, 2013 at 3:59pm
PS I can't believe that other teams aren't lining up for Jovetic. He's a quality player. It seems like Juve are not going to sign him when he would have been so much better than Tevez and Llorente. Jovetic captained Partizan Belgrade at the age of 18 after making his debut at 16. He has handled Fiorentina not qualifying to the Champions Leauge so well. It would be a huge shame if he leaves Serie A.
on the 9th July, 2013 at 3:12pm
Milan are better off selling Boatang and Robinho...use those funds for Honda, Ljajic and a top CB. That would make us a scary good team and a very very young one with top end talent.

Fiorentia should keep Jovetic this season, with Gomez they will do well and increase his value.
on the 9th July, 2013 at 2:28pm
Why does there have to be 3 spots now (I know its because of udinese lol), as there is way too much competition for CL - Fiorentina, Milan, Juventus and Napoli are realistically targeting it and there are other clubs that can make challenges like Roma and inter. Its going to be way too tight next season. No excuses for any team
on the 9th July, 2013 at 1:36pm
Great signing for Fiorentina and if they manage to keep Jovetic and Ljajic then they have a very interesting front line for next season. For the sake of Italian football (and to keep Inter out of Europe!) it would be great to see Fiorentina build on last year (as long as they stay behind Milan). If Jovetic is going to leave Milan should sell Boateng to Monaco for silly money and buy Jovetic. He's a world class player that is worth going for and Juve get him they might be unstoppable in Serie A
on the 9th July, 2013 at 10:59am

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